Evaluating the Morphological Competence of Children With Severe Speech and Physical Impairments

Redmond, Sean M.; Johnston, Susan S.
December 2001
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2001, Vol. 44 Issue 6, p1362
Academic Journal
Reports present mixed findings on the extent to which the development of receptive language skills in children with severe speech and physical impairments (SSPI) is compromised by their difficulty with speaking (V. W. Berninger & B. M. Gans, 1986; D. V. M. Bishop, B. Byers Brown, & J. Robson, 1990; O. Udwin & W. Yule, 1990). In this study, grammaticality judgments were used to measure the sensitivity of 4 school-age children with SSPI to different morphological errors. These errors included violations of agreement between the subject and auxiliary verbs (e.g., she are falling), the marking of aspect (e.g., she is play the horn), and the marking of past tense on regular and irregular verbs (e.g., he jump, he fall, he falled). Performance of the participants with SSPI was compared to groups of typically developing children and adults. Results indicated that children in the SSPI and control groups made similar judgments. All groups showed high levels of sensitivity to agreement violations, aspect-marking errors, and tense-marking errors involving irregular verbs. Participants with SSPI had greater difficulty detecting tense-marking errors involving regular verbs. Implications for improving clinical assessments within this population are discussed.


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